Skiers and snow boarders at the Glenshee Ski Resort in the Cairngorms National Park ©Lorne Gill. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or

Social and economic benefits of nature

The natural environment is one of Scotland’s greatest assets, making a major contribution to economic growth and quality of life.

If we’re to continue to reap these economic and social rewards, it’s vital that we look after the natural environment as an investment for the future.

Discover the many ways in which our environment is valued in the publications below.

Or find out about some of our industries reliant on nature.

Ecosystem services

The Natural Capital Asset Index analyses the quality and quantity of terrestrial habitats, according to their potential to deliver ecosystem services now and in the future.

Read Scotland’s Natural Capital Asset Index

Economic impact

Our short film sums up how nature and landscapes attract businesses and individuals to live and work in Scotland.

Watch our Valuing our environment film on our YouTube channel.

Valuing our environment.


The natural environment is one of Scotland's greatest assets. It attracts businesses and individuals to live and work in Scotland.

Sustainable use of our environment contributes over £17 billion a year to Scotland's economy.

Our Valuing our Environment report reveals the economic value of the environment. Its sustainable use supports 11% of Scotland’s total economic output – worth £17.2 billion a year – and one in seven full-time jobs.

The full research report below underpins the key information in the above publication.

Read The Economic Impact of Scotland’s Natural Environment: SNH Commissioned Report No. 304

Public opinion

Our 2011 survey reveals the Scottish public’s strong affection for our native wildlife and landscapes. It also shows clear public support for the continued protection of these natural assets: What the Scottish public value about the natural heritage

Additional analysis shows what aspects of nature people think are important in the different regions of Scotland: Regional environmental preferences

You can also view the datasets for the survey fieldwork: Public Attitudes datasets